RAMADAN, the holiest, yet the deadliest month of the Islamic calendar year, began a few days ago. If you’re not a Muslim, but have acquaintances who are, or have to work alongside Muslims everyday, there are things you must do and say to show respect for Islamic traditions as well as the religious sensibilities of your Muslim neighbors and colleagues.
Funny how we never seem to see “etiquette guides” for teaching Muslims how to behave around Christians, Jews, and other religious groups in the civilized world.
CNN During this month, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours and dedicate moments of each day to deep reflection and prayers, among other practices. Muslims will usually wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar.
Below are some tips on how to show solidarity with and respect to Muslim acquaintances during Ramadan.
Ramadan ‘Etiquette’ Guide for Non-Muslims
- Consume your food and drink in private during daylight hours. Not only is this respectful, but it’s also the law!
- Do not smoke in public.
- Dress more conservatively; avoid wearing shorts.
- Stay off the roads between 1-3pm to allow Muslims a more smooth drive home.
- Use the greeting as-salām ‘alaykum followed by Ramadan Kareem. Ramadan Mubarak is also common especially outside of Oman.
- If you are invited to an Iftar dinner, accept it!